Republicans ask 'where do we go from here?'
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Obama has insisted that the wealthiest Americans pay higher tax rates, as they did under Clinton. Many Democrats in Congress agree.
Republican insiders, meanwhile, nervously focused on an approaching problem that could produce even bigger presidential losses in future years. The Republican Party relies overwhelmingly on white voters, a steadily shrinking share of the population. Hispanics, the nation's fastest-growing group, have bristled at Republican attacks on illegal immigration, which some people consider a slap at all Latinos, legal or not.
Republican campaign pros said the party must find a way to temper the talk about immigration without infuriating conservatives who oppose "amnesty'' for those who entered the country illegally.
"You can't just say `If you fix the tone, you fix the problem,''' said Republican consultant Terry Nelson. "We have to figure out what kind of policy solutions we have for this.''
Ullyot said congressional Republicans should embrace more lenient immigration policies immediately.
On still another front, many Republicans said their party must find ways to appeal to women, who voted heavily for Obama. The party cannot give people the impression that opposing abortion is its top women-related issue, said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
"Single moms are part of our American fabric,'' she said. "Let's not keep thinking that the American family is made up of a mom and a dad and two kids and a picket fence and a dog and a cat. It's made up of a lot of single moms struggling to make ends meet. ... We need to get a program to say 'we care about you.'''
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